Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Closer to Fine



Closer To Fine
The Indigo Girls

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls write separately, and this song was written by Saliers, who told us it is based on real experiences. Said Saliers: "All of my songs, they're a combination of real experiences and what I observe through other people's behavior and experience. I was with my family in Vermont, and we were sitting in this rustic cabin, and I was sitting on a front porch and looking out into the trees, which, you know, whenever you're in such a bucolic setting, it can make you feel very philosophical. So that's how I was feeling. And that song is about not beating yourself up too hard to get your answer from one place. There's no panacea, that in order to be balanced or feel closer to fine it's okay to draw from this or to draw from that, to draw from a bunch of different sources. So it's about being confused but looking for the answers, and in the end knowing that you're going to be fine. No seeking just one definitive answer."

It's about trying to find THE right path, but all questions have many answers, which should you choose. Saliers tries everything and talks to everyone only to realize that there are many ways along the crooked path of life and the less she seeks definitive answers for life, she gets closer to being fine. Sometimes it's not the answers that are important but the journey to seek those answers and the journey of life.  Sometimes, a question has more than one answer and can lead to a greater understanding, if we open our minds.

The song had some truly great lyrics, such as "Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable and lightness has a call that's hard to hear."  Sin knows no limits and you'll never be satisfied because it may satisfy a desire but will never make you feel whole.  Sin will merely take you down a darker path.  Whereas the light of Christ or his influence is soft and gentle and hard to hear unless you are listening for it.  We can see it all around us, if we jut look and listen.

Saliers pokes a little fun at academia too.  Regarding the "doctor of philosophy" in the lyrics, Saliers explains that it wasn't a real person: "It's sort of a stereotype. I remember in high school one of my teachers had a poster of Rasputin on his door, and his pictures just looked so bizarre to me, and always struck me. I sort of put those images together, and it was sort of a poke at academia and the way it can sometimes be removed from reality. So I was saying I don't think this professor has the right to judge me in terms of real life, when we're caught up in this insular, sort of strange academic world."  Academia can be a closed society.  Though they are often searching for new ideas, they often just rehash old ones.  It takes a very special person to see beyond and truly get past old stereotypes and push forward to finding the correct answer. With history, there's often many interpretations of an event, but can they all be correct?  Truthfully, I believe if you have an objective mind they can be.  Most all things hold a grain of truth and Jair as there are many questions and many answers, you must synthesize the information and realize that no single answer is correct.  When you try to dogmatically answer a question and refuse to see the many facets of it, you inevitably answer the question incorrectly.

The most important statement I think this song makes is that we are all unique and my finding our true self, the closer we will be to being fine.

2 comments:

silvereagle said...

100% AGREE "The most important statement I think this song makes is that we are all unique and my finding our true self, the closer we will be to being fine."

EthanJM said...

I love this song and the meaning and lesson behind it. We all wish that life could be easy and the answers to our questions come freely, but I think your point about the journey is important. The learning and experiences, good or bad, are what's important not just reaching the end of our path.